Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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By George C. Clark, Sr.
“Beloved, if our heart doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”
Just as Jesus went to the cross to provide cleansing from sins, he went to the whipping post to provide healing for our bodies. Isaiah said, “By his stripes we are healed.” If you have prayed for a healing, yet have not received it, this message may be for you. There is often a cause—and a remedy—for your not being healed.
There are, to be sure, a number of things which will prevent one’s healing, though he be a follower of Christ. For instance, the apostle Peter explained that if a wife or husband neglected their duties to each other, their prayers would be hindered (1Pet. 3:1-7). This is, perhaps, chief among the errors that keep married believers from answered prayers and divine healings.
Every follower of Christ who reads this should do as Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers to do and “examine himself to see whether he be in the faith.” When Paul said “the faith”, he meant “the faith that was once delivered to the saints”, the faith that produces obedience to God. This is the faith by which one is justified (Rom. 5:1). It is also the faith through which one is saved (Eph. 2:8). The apostle Paul, that great missionary statesman, also told us that this is the “faith that works by love” (Gal. 5:6), and “is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). And, may I add, it is also the faith that heals and delivers both body and soul from all infirmities.
“All men have not faith”, Paul declared; therefore, it is not surprising that there are some among us who do not have faith for the healing of their body. But why do not all in the family of God have faith? The simplest answer would be that not all please God. John, that shepherdly-hearted apostle, wrote in his first epistle (3:21-22), “If our heart doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence [faith] toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”
From the preceding scriptures, we notice there are two acts of obedience mentioned which entitle us to receive “whatever we ask”. The first is that “we keep His commandments”. The second is that we “do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” Oh, how many we see who are missing God here! There may be a few things that even obedient children of God do which do not please the Father, and no believer has the promise to be healed until he gives up those things, for they produce condemnation in the heart rather than faith. We are told that “whatever is not of faith is sin”; consequently, one should not expect an answer to prayer, especially a miracle of healing, as long as sin of any description remains in his life.
Beloved, you may not think so, but that little no-harm thing that you haven’t yet let go of may be keeping you from the healing you have so long sought. Don’t take a chance by holding it back; give it up and God will do just what He has promised. Can’t you hear Him asking you this very minute, “How is it that you have no faith?” Can’t you hear Him saying, “Everything—whatever—you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive?” That voice from the hills of old Judea is still crying, “Have faith in God!”
Paul taught that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). “Hearing”, in this case means, “listening to the word of God with a firm purpose to obey Him.” Naaman, the leper, no doubt had tried every physician far and near but was not cured. It was when he obeyed the command of God’s prophet that he was healed. And, friend, if you want the faith that brings healing or any other blessing from God, be like that. Unfortunately, many have listened to false teaching about healing until they have lost what little faith they did have. Paul told us to hold on to both faith and a good conscience (1Tim. 1:19). Thousands upon thousands, “having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith”, are seeking healing, but to no avail, for before they can receive their healing, they must again purify their hearts by faith. They must “repent and do the first works” and be re-established in the faith.
This message is intended not only to renew you concerning your faith in divine healing but also to strengthen you in the spirit of holiness, where the soul of every child of God finds its freedom. Among the thousands I have prayed for during my many years in the ministry, I find less operative faith coming from believers who are not free in Christ than from any other group, including the vilest sinner. It is difficult indeed, if not impossible, for a child of God to be healed who has condemnation in his heart. So, labor to stay free in the Spirit of truth.
I believe we are on the threshold of the greatest outpouring of miracles the world has ever witnessed. Did not Jesus, in the closing days of his ministry, say, “He who believes in me, the works that I do he will also do, and greater works than these will he do because I go to my Father” (Jn. 14:12)? My sick friend, you can be healed right now! Jesus suffered to make healing for both soul and body available to us. True faith believes what is written: “He was wounded for our transgressions . . . and by his stripes we are healed ” (Isa. 53:5).
It is definitely the Lord’s will for all of us who are sick and suffering to be healed. It is simply our weakness of faith that prevents our being healed; it is never a lack on God’s part. We find some who seem to think their suffering in body is for the glory of God, while there are others who say they are too old and feeble to be healed, but neither is true. No saint, young or old, has to remain in a sick or suffering condition. This has been proved by many who walked close enough to God to escape this and to reach a ripe old age, and they were called away while in perfect health. Not all these are listed in the Bible, either. Some have lived and died in this “latter rain” time of Christ. No one is ever too old or too sick to be healed. It is true that many of our older saints are suffering body ailments. Some of these, I am inclined to believe, are suffering because they are too self-righteous to confess their faults to one another, and to pray for one another that they might be healed (Jas. 5:16). Yes, older people can be self-righteous, too, and afflicted with faith-killing unbelief and self-will just like the young.
There are others, perhaps not so old, who overindulge in eating and drinking, and thus give cause for their sicknesses. They should “abstain from fleshly lusts”, so that God can heal them.
The healing of one’s body by the power of God brings a joy into the heart similar to that of conversion. And may I ask you, my friend, this question, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, and take up your pallet and walk?’” (Mk. 2:9). The Pharisees doubted the power of Jesus to forgive sins but admitted that Jesus had the power to heal. Today, we find our modern Pharisees holding an opinion which is quite opposite, for they acknowledge that Jesus forgives sin but deny his power to heal the sick. Paul commanded Timothy, concerning these men, “Keep away from such men as these” (2Tim. 3:5).
After many years of close observation, I have found that failing to be healed often leads people to backslide.
There are those who are overcome by demons of doubt and who even deny that healing is available in Christ. These people are far, far from the will of God. In fact, they are so far astray that they can’t even bear witness to the work of God. If you are in this condition and claim to be a follower of Christ, my hope is that you will repent before it is too late. You need to repent. Repent of what? Of unbelief, if nothing else, but I am sure there is something else. Discouragement can lead to bitterness if one does not stay humble before the Lord, even in the absence of healing. Indeed, failing to believe in divine healing is proof that one is already backslidden in heart. Could it be that you have been influenced by a minister who does not believe in divine healing? Or is it that you have failed to obey God to seek for spiritual power, and, as a result, you have become jealous of those who did pay the price? Regardless of the reason for your being controlled by these doubting and denying demons of unbelief, you need deliverance, and let me advise you to call for it soon. Give up right now and ask God to take you into the love and faith you really desire. If others are influencing you to resist the manifestation of the power of God, then pray with me that God will either convince or remove them so that you can walk in the light with Jesus.
God has a prescription for our healing. The medicines He uses are the lash marks on Jesus’ back. Hallelujah! Some will say, “I know people were healed during Jesus’ time.” Well, listen, dear Reader, are we not living in Jesus’ time? Isn’t this the time of the gospel? If miracles can occur only in Jesus’ time, the apostles must have been living in his time after Jesus left them to return to the Father, for they kept on healing the sick as he had commanded them. Yes, friend, we are still in the gospel age, for there is no “Amen” at the end of the book of Acts. You will find that word at the end of Revelation.
The same one who said, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be damned”, also said, “These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will be made well” (Mk. 16:15-18). Amen, and God bless you!